Travelling along the paths of the Way of St. James: is that something you've considered or might enjoy? The Voie du Puy (Le Puy Route), Voie d'Arles (Arles Route), and Voie des Piémonts (Pyrenean Foothills Route): the 3 main itineraries of the Way of St. James converge in our region before reaching Spain. Then come to Occitania to experience this authentic spiritual journey!
Nasbinals, Aubrac, Conques, Cahors, La Romieu…: on the Voie du Puy-En-Velay, you will be following a legendary itinerary, featuring many famous stages of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Prestigious abbeys, Romanesque churches, 13th-century bridges and collegiate churches all appear on this path, which immerses you in a series of splendid settings: the mountains of Margeride, the immense spaces of Aubrac, the light of Quercy, the valleys of Gers...
Discover 2 particularly interesting alternatives to the Le Puy path, both starting in Figeac (Lot). One takes you to Cahors via the beautiful Célé Valley and Saint-Cirq-Lapopie. The other takes you to Rocamadour, the biggest pilgrimage site in the West in medieval times, then joins up with the Voie du Puy in La Romieu (Gers).
If you choose the Voie d'Arles, you will go through the vineyards and olive groves of Gard, the gorges of Hérault, the hills of Haut-Languedoc, the forests of the Montagne Noire, the delights of the Midi Toulousain, then the countryside of Gers, reminiscent of Tuscany: what an epic journey!
You'll enjoy stopping in Montpellier, Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, Castres, Toulouse, Auch, Marciac and other places, as the pilgrims from the Alpine, Slavic, Italian and Provençal regions used to do.
Each year, Occitania welcomes around 30,000 walkers on the paths of the Way of St. James, including 20,000 on the Voie du Puy! So don't hesitate to take the other paths: they will deliver their fair share of wonders.
An original route, on a North-South axis, between 3 major sanctuaries: the Abbey of Sainte-Foy in Conques, the Basilica of Saint-Sernin in Toulouse, and the Cathedral of Saint-Bertrand-de-Commminges.
The Liaison Conques-Toulouse will take you through the characterful landscapes of Aveyron and Tarn before entering the Gaillac vineyard and the Midi Toulousain.
Starting in Toulouse, the Via Garona takes over: an alternative with many cultural sites that will allow you to join the Voie des Piémonts in order to carry on to Santiago de Compostela.
In the Middle Ages, pilgrims also took the Voie des Piémonts, which begins at the foot of Massif Central's last foothills. Starting in Carcassonne, head for the Pyrenees to cross the mountain passes to Spain. You will be able to make your way peacefully, far from the crowd, through the unspoilt landscapes of Aude, Ariège, Hautes-Pyrénées and Béarn.
You can stop in Pamiers, Saint-Lizier, Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges, Bagnères-de-Bigorre, Lourdes ...
Currently, the Chemin des Piémonts (GR®78) is marked and maintained from Carcassonne to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port. Before Carcassonne, the path's route is still being studied and is not yet marked (it will be the future GR®78-1).
Keep your eyes peeled! Occitania is the region with the most UNESCO World Heritage sites in connection with the paths of the Way of St. James in France. There are nearly 40 of them. A few examples: the Abbeys of St-Guilhem-le-Désert, Conques and Moissac, the Cathedrals of Auch and Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges, the Hôtel Dieu St-Jacques in Toulouse, the Pont d’Espalion bridge, the Pont Valentré bridge in Cahors ...
How to get there